The results are in – my tumor scored 20, which puts me in the middle zone (18 and below, you skip chemo; over 30 and you head straight to chemo; anywhere in the middle, you have to make your own decisions and live with the consequences). I’d already decided I was going to opt for chemo if my score wasn’t in the extreme low risk range, and both my surgeon and my oncologist are in concurrence with that decision. It was also felt that my pathology report might have been a bit optimistic in describing the cancer cells as ‘well differentiated‘, and that the pathologist here would have tended towards ‘moderately differentiated‘, which upgrades the recurrence risk.
I really really wish they wouldn’t raise hopes – no matter how I tried not to believe the ‘very likely you’ll be heading straight to radiation‘ spiel, I really *wanted* to, and that makes the bitter pill harder yet to swallow. I’d rather just not know, go in expecting the worst, and have any good news come as an utter and total gift – or at least not be set up for disappointment.
It does seem to be a habit – I remember my mom being told ‘not everyone loses their hair‘ (which *is* true, but *most* people do), and her clinging to that hope. I’d much rather expect the worst, every time.
So, it’s looking like TC (Taxotere Cytoxan) chemotherapy for the next three months (probably starting next week); with 1 dose every 3 weeks, 4 doses total; then recovery, then radiation for six weeks. Probably about 5 months total, and five years of tamoxifen to follow up.
Yes, it could be worse. It could also be a lot better.